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Member postings for Dickw

Here is a list of all the postings Dickw has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Single servo ailerons
15/08/2019 14:34:36
Posted by Nigel R on 15/08/2019 13:44:06:


Redundancy is a thing, but, do either of you fit two elevator servos as well? Elevator is just as much a critical control, possibly more so than ailerons.

Or dual rudder servos?

Or dual receivers?



On a recent build of a scale model kit designed for one elevator servo (split elevator with joiner), I actually fitted smaller dual elevator servos for redundancy. My personal history suggests electro-mechanical devices like servos are less reliable than pure electrical devices like receivers.

I have many models without a rudder, so feel no need for redundancy on rudder.

I don't think anyone is saying single servo setups are bad - just that dual aileron servos give more options if you want them.


15/08/2019 11:03:54
Posted by Martin Harris on 15/08/2019 10:24:57:

I think it depends on how interested you are in fine tuning a model for pleasant performance. ..................

There is the added advantage that should you get a servo failure, you have at least a fighting chance of landing the model in one piece -......................

...................- a clubmate experienced a similar situation and was very lucky (skillful, Dick?) to wrestle his model onto the ground with only covering damage from the heat generated by a short circuit in the servo electronics. ............... likely to have crashed due to lack of roll control!

I would obviously like to claim skill, but perhaps luck played a bigger part than I would like to admit to smiley.

I am firmly in the "2 servo" brigade on all the above mentioned grounds, and would like to add that with 2 servos you can operate the ailerons as flaps or as spoilers, and even couple the "flaps" with elevator like in my control line days. Elevator full up with flaps full down at speed can add a bit of fun and adrenalin into your life.


Edited By Dickw on 15/08/2019 11:04:31

Thread: Interesting reply from email to Richard Moriarty, CAA
02/08/2019 10:18:34
Posted by Philip Lewis 3 on 02/08/2019 00:39:13:
Posted by Martin Harris on 02/08/2019 00:24:23:

I think it most unlikely that the BMFA would register our models on our behalf and clubs will most probably take the same attitude even if the final legislation allows it.

I disagree, having read the draft legislation the legal responsibilities of the operator are not that onerous, prove any required test is passed, comply with any ANO, only fly where allowed legally to do so and ensure any laws are obeyed..

If I was out for the day, say 100 miles from home, and flying in a farmers field, how would the BMFA or my club be able to ensure I was only flying where legally allowed to do so and was obeying all relevant laws?

I am not against the idea, just trying to figure out how it would work..


Thread: Can you charge a LiPo through its balance lead?
01/08/2019 12:16:06
Posted by FilmBuff on 01/08/2019 11:26:11:

Thanks guys. I'm aware of the issues with in situ charging but I'm thinking a 0.5A - 1.0A charge through the balance lead would not be harmful?

I charge the 2s Lipo rx battery on some of my models in situ via the balance lead using an adapter lead to my regular charger (adapter - the main charge leads are connected to the outer conductors on the balancer plug). I only use this setup on 2s batteries because with the main charge current passing through the outers on the balance plug the balancing would be problematic for more than 2s. However with a charger designed for balance lead charging that shouldn't be a problem.

Provided you keep the current low and you are happy with the normal charging risks, what you propose should work.


Edited By Dickw on 01/08/2019 12:16:36

Edited By Dickw on 01/08/2019 12:16:55

Thread: Battery
25/07/2019 10:45:54
Posted by Cuban8 on 25/07/2019 10:14:12:

Can't say that I was overly impressed with a 'Leisure Battery' that I bought a few years ago for field charging. ...................................................................

On the solar panel idea - not convinced that a panel would keep a battery that well charged during a flying session, if that is what is being suggested. Even quite expensive ones are only able to deliver milliamps (tens or a few hundreds) when in full sunshine. Depends on what you have in terms of size and efficiency of course.

For an afternoon's flying with say four 1500 3S and a couple of 3000 6S, I haven't had any problem charging from my car battery, ...................................... Obviously not an option if you're going to a fly-in or similar for a few days though.

So far that is a fair number of us not impressed with Leisure batteries. I did find that I got on better with an ordinary car battery bought from Halfords - still heavy though hence my move to lithium which gave better performance for less weight.

Not sure what size solar panels you are referring to regarding your quoted performance figures but mine, shown in the photo above, always give me around an amp even on a dull cloudy day and 5 or 6 amps if the sun comes out. Last sunday they put 14.5 Ah into my battery during a day of mixed cloud and sun. The attached data log shows one of my initial tests with the panels last year - a typical dull cloudy day out with a total of about 7.5 Ah output. They certainly work for me, and if 7.5Ah doesn't sound much don't forget that is in addition to my 30Ah battery capacity.


20180818 f5b practice day notes.jpg

24/07/2019 17:25:54

There is the option of using solar panels to keep a small 12v battery topped up while charging.



24/07/2019 13:11:17

Going in a sightly different direction on 12v batteries - I also used Leisure batteries in 110 Ah or 80 Ah sizes for many years, but got fed up with having to replace them every couple of years.

About 7 years ago I invested in a 4s2p LifeP04 battery built myself using 15 Ah cells so giving me 12v 30 Ah. Because of the different discharge characteristics of the Life cells I found I got more out of them at the field than I ever did out of an 80 Ah Leisure battery, and they are still going strong unlike any of the Leisure batteries I used.

I got the cells, connectors, etc. from here. Not cheap initially, but they have saved me money in the long run.

The other advantage is they are a lot less weight, so the pack is built into my model box as per the photo.

charging batt.jpg


Thread: Who says flying thermal soarers is boring?
20/07/2019 12:44:39

The videos so far definitely show F5J thermal soarers.

If you want to see a hotliner have a look at a video of the first part of an F5B comp flight (the second part of the flight is basically a 10 minute thermal duration). F5B planes are basically high powered 2m soarers.

Some F5B videos here.


Thread: Electric Cars.
08/07/2019 10:01:36
Posted by Wingman on 07/07/2019 21:52:22:

It's the range thing that always bothers me about electric cars.

I recently drove 450 miles which took me about 8 hours where I stopped once for fuel, twice for 'comfort' and once for 30 minutes for lunch. I travelled at 80 mph where possible.

I was wondering if anybody on here has done a similar sort of distance in an electric vehicle and, if so, would they like to share their journey details so I can get some sort of idea how that sort of range is covered electrically.

Last weekend I was at an international model competition near Ashford in Kent. After the competition finished on Sunday morning a friend of mine, and one of the UK competitors, set out about lunch time to drive back to Scotland in his 100 mile range electric car. He got home Tuesday evening (yes, 2 overnight stops).

Approx 380 miles as the crow flies so probably around the 450 mile mark driven. I am sure he could have done it with just one overnight stop and longer days driving. I think he has a 2 hour charge time.


Thread: Advice please
02/07/2019 22:09:06

The BMFA Achievement Scheme website has some useful Quizzes to help you prepare for the question part of the A cert test.


Thread: Manual / instructions needed please
01/07/2019 17:53:16
Posted by SIMON CRAGG on 01/07/2019 11:37:45:


At the time, the instructions were included on a download tab.

I have just got round to installing the glowdriver , but the item has disappeared from the HK site.


Edited By SIMON CRAGG on 01/07/2019 11:39:36

Denis has shown most of it, but for the record the instructions do still seem to be available on the "Upload Files" tab on the HK site here.


Thread: How does a BMFA Country Member get an A Certificate?
25/06/2019 18:18:36
Posted by Julian Murch on 25/06/2019 17:26:35:

Thanks for the information I will continue the build - soon to cover and complete. Looks like I should find a flying club near me. I did make some enquiries some time back so have some choices. I am in Dunstable Bedfordshire.

The BMFA "club finder" is a good place to find clubs near you. Start here.


Thread: CAA CAP 1789
25/06/2019 17:58:02
Posted by Steve J on 25/06/2019 17:46:34:
Posted by Dickw on 25/06/2019 17:38:39:

Just checked and I can't see any way of de-registering anything, or cancelling my French competency cert.

Can't see why it would be a problem anyway. If a gendarme wants to check my French docs while I am flying in the UK under our airspace regs he is welcome to do so.

The regulation says:

"UAS operators shall register themselves in the Member State where they have their residence for natural persons or where they have their principal place of business for legal persons and ensure that their registration information is accurate. A UAS operator cannot be registered in more than one Member State at a time."

I wonder if the French will remove non-residents from their database before 1st July next year.


Interesting question. I understand that acceptance of other countries registrations etc. is being discussed to allow people to travel and fly, but there are differences in the systems. For example, each of my models has a different registration in my name in France, rather than me being registered as an operator for all my models as is proposed for ther UK.


25/06/2019 17:38:39


Just checked and I can't see any way of de-registering anything, or cancelling my French competency cert.

Can't see why it would be a problem anyway. If a gendarme wants to check my French docs while I am flying in the UK under our airspace regs he is welcome to do so.

Incidently, my French registrations and competency are free and valid until 2024!

The whole French process is possible in English here.


25/06/2019 12:33:29
Posted by Gordon Whitehead 1 on 25/06/2019 12:03:42:

The "Flying Models in France " link on the finesseplus site looks useful if one plans to fly over there. Has anyone had a go at the online test?

The short videos are a neat summary of the regulations. The fines for transgression are huge even if the rule-breaking is inadvertent.

I wonder if we'll see similar guidance over here.


Yes, I had a go at the test and passed. I have also registered a couple of planes on the French system.

No plans to fly there, I just did it out of curiosity. Once you have worked through the videos the test is then failrly simple.


Thread: Spinners for brushless.
23/06/2019 17:26:23
Posted by Foxfan on 23/06/2019 16:50:52:


I don't think I can trust a collet fixing. I have enough trouble with collets in my pin chucks!

I put 7kW through a collet prop driver on a 6mm shaft. They do work OK - or some of them do anyway!


23/06/2019 10:54:35

Most ESCs offer an optional brake function that just short circuits the motor windings and slows the motor down, usually to the point of stopping rotation. Unfortunately you can't pick the point at which it stops rotating, however the prop can still be pushed round a bit as you touch down.

It is best to use the brake option when a folding prop is fitted, otherwise the prop will just jkeep spinning (windmilling) and not fold.


Edited By Dickw on 23/06/2019 10:56:40

23/06/2019 10:19:59

It's called a prop saver, but is just as useful for avoiding a bent shaft.

I have often used folding props as they rarely break, and also reduce the bending load on the shaft during landings without an U/C.

Another option for reducing the chance of a bent shaft is to fit the spinner as close as you can to fuselage without actually causing binding.

An IC prop would be stronger and less likely to break, particularly if the ESC brake function is used.

Lots of options to play with smiley.


Thread: Battery sag, not battery fault, answers on a postcard please
23/06/2019 10:11:09

I don't know that ESC, but some ESCs have a low voltage cutoff that reduces the throttle slowly if the battery volts drop too far, Does your ESC have that, and could it be set too high?

Other than that, it does sound like an overheating connector somewhere in the circuit,


Thread: Windmill
22/06/2019 15:56:28

In a similar situation with an RC combat model without U/C and with a fixed prop I used the brake, and in addition used an IC prop which is stronger than the equivalent size electric prop. I rarely had a prop break after that.


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